Math 8 – Students had their last classroom day to work on the project. This was a nice way to end the unit, with the students being assessed on whether or not they could formulate a cohesive understanding of integers and integer operations. As well, it becomes a formative task for them because some students will have learned new things from doing this project and can now re-test a learning objective for integers.
Science 9 – Trying hard not to get mired in smaller details of reproduction, students did some practice with small concept maps of sexual reproduction and slide show overview of asexual vs sexual reproduction. The class ended with my asking for an Exit Slip. As many teachers know, this is a great formative assessment tool.
Science 8 – We have spent three days looking at these two models. Day one was discussing prior knowledge (exploring), day two was a lab activity (explanation) and day three was extension (practice questions).
The two stars and a wish is a tool for kids to try and summarize some things they’ve learned and to show themselves and me where their gaps are. It can be useful, but only if the teacher is committed to spending time working with the input from the students.
In Grade 9 science I decided to give students different options for learning a topic on atomic theory. They could either read through some of the textbook and answer chapter questions, they could go through their workbook, or they could use the textbook and some library books and put together a concept map.
Once this task was finished, I checked each student’s work and asked them a few questions. That was the formative assessment part of the lesson. Once everything was good, each student had an assessment activity to complete. For this, they had to do a cartoon, play or short story which features Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford and Bohr, discussing their theories. The idea was that by creating a dialogue, the students would have to synthesize their new knowledge into their own words, rather than copy sentences from another text.
I’ll see how the assessment goes. In the meantime, check out the concept map posted above. That was done by a student who says he’d never done one before. I gave him only minimal instruction on concept mapping and had shown him a few exemplars. I’m super impressed!